SBPM accepts honor for unique courses

A global environmental policy institute named GW’s School of Business and Public Management last week one of 17 graduate schools nationwide to include environmental and social issues in its course curricula.

The report, “Beyond Gray Pinstripes: Preparing MBAs for Social and Environmental Stewardship,” was released by the World Resources Institute and the Initiative for Social Innovation through Business.

GW was named to the list, along with MBA programs from Cornell University and Tulane University, for teaching the impact the environment and society can have on business.

The study is in its second year, and this is the second year GW was regarded as having one of the top-eight programs in the country that directly connects business to the environment.

“The reason we have this designation is because we have coverage of environmental management, environmental strategy and environmental issues at several places within the school,” said Robert Dyer, associate dean of graduate students at SBPM.

Dyer said professors like Mark Staric, who teaches a course in environmental strategy within the strategic management department of SBPM, is one of the driving forces behind the national recognition.

“(Staric’s) class encourages American corporations to think about the impact of certain policies on environmental resources,” Dyer said.

All three of SBPM’s departments – tourism studies, public administration, and strategic management – include these types of classes. It is a new aspect of the MBA program, but Dyer said these courses are popular electives among students.

Environmental tourism is a class that suggests alternate types of vacations that do not disturb the natural environment, Dyer said.

The study, placing GW among schools like the universities of Michigan and Pennsylvania, honored universities having both breadth and depth in their program selection and extensive faculty research and publications.

According to a press release from WRI, less than 20 percent of MBA programs include environmental and social concerns, and for GW to be one of the 17 schools can only unite the business world with the natural world, taking them further – “Beyond Gray Pinstripes.”

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